The native forest and birdlife of the Hakarimata Range provides the perfect setting for a day out in one of the Waikato region’s most beautiful landscapes.

Located to the west of Ngaruawahia, the ranges include 1,850 hectares of native forest protected in Hakarimata Scenic Reserve. A walk in the reserve will reward you with babbling streams, picturesque waterfalls and impressive views over the surrounding countryside.

Waterworks Walk, Hakarimata Reserve, NZ

Waterworks Track, Hakarimata

Hakarimata Waterworks Track & Summit Track

If you’re looking for a short walk, try the Waterworks Track, in the middle section of the Hakarimata Scenic Reserve. The streamside walk passes through attractive bush on the way to an old dam – perfect for family picnics.

Once you’re done, you can return back down the track or venture up to the summit, 374 metres above sea level, on the Hakarimata Summit Track, which includes the infamous staircase, a popular challenge with both locals and visitors alike.

Waterworks & Summit walk details:

  • Track entrance: Off Brownlee Avenue, off the Ngaruawahia end of Hakarimata Road.
  • Waterworks Track Time: 1 hour return
  • Summit Track Time: 3 hours return
  • Waterworks Track - More info: www.doc.govt.nz
  • Summit Track - More info: www.doc.govt.nz

Hakarimata Walkway

The 12km-long Hakarimata Walkway offers a full day walk through native bush including towering kauri and totara trees. The Waikato River and the nearby settlements of Ngaruawahia and Hamilton city can be seen from elevated points along the track.

Hakarimata Walkway details:

  • Track entrance: There are three access points to the reserve - off Waingaro Road to the south, from Brownlee Avenue and from Parker Road in the north.
  • Time: 7 hours 30 minutes one way
  • More info: www.doc.govt.nz

Hakarimata Rail Trail

Hakarimata Rail Trail Walk, Waikato, NZ

Hakarimata Rail Trail

At the southern end of the reserve is the Hakarimata Rail Trail – a shared walking and cycling trail that follows the route of the former Ngaruawahia to Glenn Massey Railway. The trail passes by a picnic area with toilet facilities and the track is suitable for buggies, assisted wheelchairs and bicycles.

Hakarimata Rail Trail track details:

  • Track entrance: Along the Waingaro Rd, 2 km from the Waingaro Bridge in Ngaruawahia
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • More info: www.doc.govt.nz

Hakarimata Kauri Loop Track

View native Kauri trees up close on the Hakarimata Kauri Loop Track. Marvel at these strong, ancient giants of the forest and stroll through a grove of young Kauri, as well as Rimu and Nikau on this picturesque bush walk.

Hakarimata Kauri Loop Walk, Waikato, NZ

Kauri Loop Walk, Hakarimata

The long flight of stairs at the beginning can be a challenge to get up but are worth it for the stunning views from the lower lookout looking north to Huntly and beyond. Continue on past an old pa site, through native bush, before reaching the base of a large Kauri Tree. The track then passes through a grove of young Kauri for a view of a bush-clad valley. You can then return the way you came or traverse the track through large Rimu to the top viewpoint for an unmatched view to the north and west.

Kauri Loop Track Details:

  • Track entrance: Parker Road, off Hakarimata Road
  • Time: 40 minutes one way to Kauri grove, two hours return full loop
  • More info: www.doc.govt.nz

For more information on the Hakarimata Ranges, visit www.doc.govt.nz

  • Please Note: Many of the walking trails in the Hamilton & Waikato region do not allow dogs. Hamilton & Waikato Tourism recommended checking with the Department of Conservation before taking your dog on any of the trails in the region.